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WASHINGTON ALERT


Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Office; Jeff Hannapel & Christian Richter, The Policy Group, Washington, D.C.


Senate Committee OKs Bill Updating Chemical Safety Law


THE NEW LEGISLATION WOULD UPDATE THE COUNTRY’S CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM WITH A NATIONWIDE STANDARD.


On Tuesday, April 28, the U.S.


Senate Committee on Environ- ment and Public Works passed the bipartisan Frank R. Laut- enberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697), on on a vote of 15-5. The nation’s primary law regulating the way chemicals are produced and used, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), was passed in 1976 and has never been updated. The new legislation, intro-


duced by Senators David Vitter (R-La.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.), would update the country’s chemical management system, TSCA, by cre- ating a nationwide standard that will


ON THE HILL


House Passes Permanent R&D Credit Legislation


The U.S. House of Representatives voted May 20 to pass AFS-supported legislation which would restore, enhance, and make permanent the tax credit for research and development (R&D). The bill, the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015 (H.R. 880), introduced by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), would permanently extend the R&D tax credit retroactive to January 1, 2015, and enhance the alternative simpli- fied credit (ASC) formula to 20% from the current 14% percent rate. The R&D tax credit expired on December 31, 2014. The loss of this vital credit will negatively impact investment in important research and economic growth. Many U.S. metalcasting facilities utilize the R&D tax credit and remain frustrated by the uncertainty over whether the Congress will renew the credit year-to-year since it is not permanent. AFS sent letters to members of Congress in key metalcasting districts


14 | MODERN CASTING June 2015


urging them to support this R&D tax credit legislation.


Metalcasting Groups Sign Letter in Support of Permitting Reform


The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted on Wednesday, May 6, to approve bipar- tisan legislation, the Federal Permitting Improvement Act (S. 280), by a vote of 12 to 1. AFS and metalcasting state groups, along with over 300 organizations, signed a coalition letter sent to every U.S. Sena- tor in support of S. 280.


Introduced by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), S. 280 would put in place commonsense reforms to improve the permitting pro- cess for infrastructure projects. Specifi- cally, it would expedite permit decision- making and inject certainty into the process by facilitating coordination and deadline-setting among agencies. It would also improve transparency and reduce unnecessary delays caused by litigation.


Ratepayer Act Approved by House Energy and Commerce Committee


At the end of April, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to ap- prove the Ratepayer Protection Act (H.R. 2042), by a vote of 28 to 22. The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whit- field (R-Ky.), Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), allows states to opt out of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan if it would increase their utility rates or jeopardize reliability. In addition, it allows states to postpone sub- mitting their compliance plans until after all legal challenges to the proposed rules are exhausted.


The Clean Power Plan, formally an- nounced on June 2, 2014, is expected to be finalized this summer. The plan seeks to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. power sector nearly 30% from 2005 levels by 2030.


For additional information, contact Stephanie Salmon, AFS Washington Off ice, 202/842-4864, ssalmon@afsinc.org.


give companies the certainty they need to do business in any state. It has garnered the support of 22 Republican and Democrat sena-


tors. Nearly 96% of manufactured products contain chemicals, but a patchwork of inconsistent regula- tions raises obstacles for compa- nies doing business across state lines and creates uncertainty for business and consumers. The House of Representatives


Energy & Commerce Commit- tee’s Subcommittee on Environ- ment & the Economy was ex- pected to conduct a markup of its TSCA discussion draft followed by a full Committee markup be-


fore the Memorial Day recess. The discussion draft was expect- ed to be introduced as a bill before the full Committee markup.


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